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Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

Once again, Christmas has come and gone. I had my "Holiday to do list" and I got almost all of the items checked off. I didn't actually attend a toy drive but I did raise money for a bicycle drive we had at work. So I think that one can be crossed off the list. I didn't get the chance to watch any of the holiday movies with my nieces and nephews but that's ok.

Christmas started on Friday December 23rd for my family. I can't remember the last time we celebrated a holiday on the actual day. Sometimes I prefer having it on a different day. Stores are still open, we don't have to rush off to someone else's house and no one has to leave early/come late because of work. The siblings, Jared and I decided to surprise my parents this year with a gift. The adults had "agreed" to not draw names and exchange gifts but we schemed behind their backs. My parents are not prideful people and they would be honest if you asked how things were this past year. Money has been tight and it has been a struggle for them but they have held their heads high, worked hard and have accepted help when it has been offered. They'd be the first to help someone else out. We ordered a food package from Omaha Steaks for them. They were sooooo excited! It felt good to give back to them. They've always done so much for all of us kids!

The youngin's had a great time tearing into gifts. Peyton decided to tear off the wrapping paper one square at a time. It was cute and maybe just a tiny bit annoying. Tyler still wasn't 100% sure what to do but he had fun. Alissa and Justen are old pros at it so they tore into their gifts like champs.

The adults, alissa and Justen did a chinese gift exchange. We all bought 5/$1 gifts, wrapped them and put them under the tree.
We drew numbers then began choose and/or stealing gifts from each other. We laughed so hard and had a great time switching the gifts around between everyone.

Christmas Eve morning Jared and I spent some time at brian and Katie's house. We had breakfast and visited with a couple friends. I finished up some cinnamon rolls then we headed to jared's best friend's house to hang out. I had to leave for work but Jared was able to stay and hang out. His other friend, Brandon, was in town so the three of them had a guys night.

Christmas Day I slept for a whole 2 hours then went to carlsbad to celebrate with Jared's family. We had a great time hanging out and talking. Jared's cousin, Kortney, flew in from New York. It was great to see her. All of the kids played and played, opened gifts then played a little more. It was nice getting caught up with everyone. We also found out Jared's cousin, Kasey, just got the lead in Wizard of Oz. She was sporting darker hair for her role as dorothy. I almost didn't recognize her. We always draw names with Jared's family. Jared drew Nana's name and he got her some DVD sets of a few of her favorite TV shows like Castle and NCIS. When she opened the "Castle" DVDs, she squealed like a little girl. She was SO excited! It was cute.

Nana, Kasey, Kortney
 The I was off to work. The day shift crew made dinner for everyone and it was goooood! My partner, Ali, and I brought some stuff in Saturday night for them to make on Sunday. Early Christmas morning I put fresh cinnamon rolls in the oven and baked them for those working day shift. My partner had laryngitis so I answered the phones and the radios. Poor thing, she sounded aweful. She was a trooper though and made it through the night.

It was a great holiday weekend! I am blessed to have 2 incredible families and a work family. I feel like I really soaked in the Christmas feeling this year. I tried to tone it down on the gifts (I failed) but I had so much joy buying and wrapping every single gift. I know Christmas is not about gifts but I do think part of the holiday is the giving spirit. Whether it is gifts, your time, opening your home, donating, being courteous to people etc; it all follows the Lord's command of "Love one another". After all, it is love that caused God to bless Joseph and Mary with a tiny baby that would eventually give the ultimate gift so we would have eternal life.

Merry Christmas, friends. Here's to a wonderful 2012!!

**And stay tuned tomorrow! There will be a special guest post from my best friend!***

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